Managing resources in drought
Improving farm management practices provides an important means of managing and recovering more quickly from drought.
Drought feeding and management of livestock
The department has developed specific information on feeding and management for livestock in drought.
These books help producers break down the daunting planning phase into manageable steps that can be used to plan a successful way forward.
A practical guide to help producers build a plan on sheep feeding and management during drought:
- Drought feeding and management of sheep – A guide for farmers and land managers (PDF - 2.7 MB)
- Drought feeding and management of sheep – A guide for farmers and land managers (WORD - 307.3 KB)
A practical guide to building a plan for managing beef cattle in drought:
- Drought feeding and management of beef cattle – A guide for farmers and managers (PDF - 1.8 MB)
- Drought feeding and management of beef cattle – A guide for farmers and managers (WORD - 519.7 KB)
Hard copies of this information is also available free of charge and can be sent to by contacting 136 186 or your local Agriculture Victoria office.
Fodder and stockfeed requirements
With the onset of summer and continuing dry conditions the need for Victorian farmers to source fodder and livestock feed from other states and regions affected by biosecurity threats increases. Biosecurity threats associated with the importation of livestock feed and fodder pose a serious risk to plant and animal industries in Victoria.
Stock containment areas
Stock containment areas (SCAs) enable farmers to fence off part of the farm to hold, feed and water livestock in tough conditions such as drought and after a bushfire.
SCAs deliver a range of benefits during droughts including minimising soil erosion, enabling faster pasture recovery, limiting the spread of weeds and allowing for good stock management.
- Stock containment areas fact sheet (PDF - 341.7 KB)
- Stock containment areas fact sheet (WORD - 639.0 KB)
Case studies and videos
Watch videos on dry weather farming.
Animal health and welfare
Farmers have legal obligations to protect the welfare of livestock on their property. Drought calls for hard economic decisions to be made, particularly on the fate of stock. Take action early to minimise the impacts. The Animal health in a drought fact sheet provides important information to aid decision making.
When preparing for or entering extended periods of dryness it is important to understand what demands are being made on existing farm water storages. view our How long will my dam water last? page on how to assist land managers calculate water demands and understand how long dam water may last in times of drought.
- Drought reserve dams
- How much water does my farm need?
- Measuring the salinity of water
- Water quality for farm water supplies
- Water supply for sheep and beef cattle in stock containment areas
- Managing farm dams
- Managing farm water
- Emergency water supply points
- Complete list of water corporations
- Complete list of catchment management authorities
- Drought reserve dams
Horticulture FARMVIEW videos
The FARMVIEW video series focuses on the horticulture industry and provides information about responding to drought and extreme conditions, using water efficiently during drought, business planning and a range of other topics.
- Case study on drought relief – Liz Jordan
- Livestock management In cropping systems
- Grazing management perennial forage shrubs
- Managing a wool enterprise through drought (PDF - 353.4 KB) or (WORD - 866.6 KB)
Dairy Australia has technical information on drought, water, feeding options and drought assistance.
Meat and Livestock Australia provides technical information on managing livestock in times of drought and market information.
The Victorian Farmers Federation has developed information resources across a range of areas including animal health, farm safety, fire service property levy, mental health and food and fibre career advice.